Every so often, I’ve written a post here and there on The Frisky about wanting to lose weight. Most recently, I wrote about how I have a big butt, and while I may not have found a solution to bring about world peace, I did find skinny jeans that fit. The only reason that I was able to get my lower lady lump into those jeans at all is because I lost about 10 pounds over the last, oh, two months, I’d say. So, how did I do it? Well, I’m not entirely sure. One thing is for sure, though. Whatever I did, I sure wasn’t perfect about it. And whatever my plan was when I started out, I think the most specific it ever got was, “Get moving.” I didn’t buy a book, or eat 700 grapefruits in 21 days, and I don’t own a scale. I have no idea how much I weighed then or weigh now. Scales make me want to barf. I’m the chick who, when told by the doctor to get on the scale, turns her back to the scale and says, “Don’t tell me.” I’m 6’1″, and, suffice to say, even when I’m at my lowest, I weigh a lot, so whatever. Scales can suck it. If you lose weight, you know it, especially when the butt of your pants starts sagging.
The first thing I did was to go public with my “weight problem.” I can’t remember which came first, but right around that time, I read a post about a Deadspin editor’s Public Humiliation Diet. He lost 60 pounds in five months. I didn’t need to do all that, and I didn’t make my weight or process public, but I did write a post about my weight on The Frisky about how I was fatter than I’d ever been in my whole life. This was embarrassing! But it had immediate, unexpected positive results. At that point, I was primarily looking for help getting motivated to get exercising, and a lot of very lovely Frisky readers wrote comments that made me realize A) exercising is never “easy,” and B) I was not alone. I even wrote a follow-up post with my favorite Frisky reader exercising tips: “How to Get Motivated to Exercise.” That collective push got the ball rolling, and my butt in gear.
For the next two months, I did three things to get more active. I started going on walks, I generally tried to get off my rear and move around more during the day rather than sitting in front of the computer the whole time, and I did yoga. At first, the walking was really unpleasant. I started out around one mile, and I think I do around two-and-a-half now. I mean, initially, it was REALLY unpleasant. For the first time in my life, I could feel my stomach, like, jiggling while I walked, and that did not a happy camper make. I wore really baggy clothes, felt embarrassed, and the walking didn’t even feel good! I felt stiff, large, and awkward. Getting up while working did have positive effects right away. It made me feel happier, less chained to a computer, and it distracted me from my tendency towards tunnel vision. Finally, I was getting fed up with the yoga studio that I was going to. It was hot yoga, and I was tired of sweating like a pig. The group classes were sort of general in a way that made me feel I was doing aerobics, not yoga. And the whole place felt sort of like a yoga factory, not the land of namaste. So, I switched to a smaller yoga place and started taking private yoga classes once a week with a great teacher. She helped me focus more on, like, how my foot related to the floor, rather than jumping around like a hyena, and it was, I found, when I moved less, but in the right way, that I felt real changes start in my body.
As for my diet, I would say I changed my diet rather than “I went on a diet.” Over those two months, I cut out dairy (mostly), eliminated carbs (mostly), and piled on the fruit, vegetables, and tofu. I was also drinking a lot of green tea, and a ton of water, natch, but with the honey, I was just pouring it on, which wasn’t really helping. Giving up sugar (mostly), in the form of that honey, was, oddly, the hardest part. I felt psychologically attached to the honey, and that if I couldn’t have the honey in my tea, I was going to die. Eventually, though, I did cut out the honey. That made me feel sleepy and undermotivated. I guess it was like my caffeine. But after a while, I got used to not having it, and now the idea of streaming a quarter cup of honey down my gullet makes me want to puke.
As for sticking to it once I was doing it, of all the comments I got, Jessalyn‘s helped the most:
I use multiple things to motivate myself, but what first got me started was something my health teacher in high school said: whatever routine you want to get into, do NOT deviate from it for the first three weeks. After three weeks, it will be a habit, making it easier to stick to, so if you want to take a day off once in a while after those three weeks it’s not a big deal.
Yo, trust, I did deviate from my routine in the first three weeks, and more than once, surely, but I think it was the idea behind what she wrote that helped. A reminder that the first part is the worst part, and if you can get through that, you can get to the promised land. So, thanks, Jessalyn!
My activity goal was to go to yoga three times a week and walk five times a week. In eight or so weeks, maybe I’ve done that, like, once or twice. So, I always fail, but, I found, I lost weight anyway. I go to yoga two or three times a week, and I walk three times a week, usually. And then, over time, I started to lose weight. My clothes got baggier, and I started exercising in clothes that weren’t so gigantic, and I started wearing tight T-shirts to the supermarket, and yoga pants while running errands, and my neck got less stiff, and my energy level increased, and I grew to like green tea without honey, and then I bought those skinny jeans. I think I lost about 10 pounds. And I feel better. And I stopped beating myself up so much. And I let myself just … be more happy.
I wasn’t religious about what I did. While I succeeded, I failed. It wasn’t easy. It isn’t easy. But I’m on my way. Now, onto those next 10 pounds …